CUTTACK: That things can get both difficult and frustrating when the cosmos decides to whimsically adhere to the Murphy’s Law is a fact that many may have experienced first-hand, on a personal level or otherwise.
During this Ranji Trophy campaign, Tamil Nadu too have been feeling the effects of the epigram that succinctly sums up the sadistic bent that the universe tends to reveal every now and then.
Bodapati Sumanth, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer and Akhil Herwadkar were the living embodiment of the Edward Aloysius Murphy coinage during their clashes against Andhra Pradesh and Mumbai. Against Tripura, nature itself was the executioner, smothering their chance for a win in the form of the Northeast monsoon.
If that wasn’t enough, the team will be missing the services of R Ashwin, Murali Vijay and Dinesh Karthik at the DRIEMS Ground come Wednesday, for their fourth match in Group C against Odisha.
This heavy skewing of odds against Tamil Nadu notwithstanding — they’re fourth with 7 points, behind Andhra Pradesh (15), Madhya Pradesh (14) and Mumbai (10) — right-arm speedster Krishnamoorthy Vignesh is raring to step up and shoulder responsibility.
With Tamil Nadu’s pace troika of himself, Aswin Crist and Thangarasu Natarajan — they were instrumental in the team’s run to the semifinal last year — broken due to injuries to the latter two, the 23-year-old has become the de facto leader of the speed pack, a position that the Thiruvallur native is not shying away from.
“It is an additional responsibility. Leading does come in the back of my mind, but at the same time, I’m also focussing on going through my process and executing my plans,” remarked Vignesh. “We as a bowling unit know each others’ strengths. We’ve seen each other at the league level, and we plan with all that in consideration. We help each other out, be it during training or matches, and share information that we think might be useful.”
Tamil Nadu have had their share of experience at the venue in the recent past, and are already acquainted with the willow-wielder bias of the pitch (they faced Madhya Pradesh last year, the match yielded two big centuries and only three points for them). The fact isn’t lost on Vignesh, since rolling up the opposition twice and taking maximum points are concurrent points on both his and his team’s agenda.
“The plan is to obviously get the best result. If we’re given the ball first, the aim is to bundle them out with a minimum score on the board to allow our batsmen to score big. That’s how it works, and I hope we pull it off,” observed Vignesh.
Tamil Nadu coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar was of the opinion that this added onus will help Vignesh evolve. “It’s good for him, as he’s showing improvement with every game. He’s somebody who learns quickly, and he’ll benefit from this experience. Being at the forefront of the attack will be good for him.”